Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Attachment and Meditation


Attachment and Meditation

Martin LeFevre

*******

Meditation cannot truly begin until the mind/brain lets go of everything. No trick or technique can cause it to do so. Only undivided observation loosens the bonds and ends the grooves of thought.

Why is it so difficult to let go? What is it about the human mind that keeps us attached to beliefs, people, and problems? It appears as though the brain, using thought, is almost wired to attach itself to things. Obviously attachment is a function of the self. As long as there is the emotionally held idea of a separate self, there will be attachment with all its problems.

At bottom, there is a seemingly separate self that experiences things as happening to it. Experience isn’t perceived as an unbroken flow of inner and outer movement. Rather, we experience things from a center that is more or less fixed, a center that interprets, judges, evaluates, and then acts. But in actuality, is there a separate entity that stands apart from anything?

If there is no sense of self, there is no basis for attachment. Therefore attachment is a function of the ‘me,’ the ego, the self at the center of our experience.

The expression, ‘my thoughts’ is not merely redundant; it is existentially and neurologically erroneous. And yet the ‘me’ seems to have tremendous validity. Why does the brain, using thought, fabricate a separate self, and hold onto it for dear life, when a separate self doesn’t actually exist?

There are at least two possibilities. One is that, in the absence of insight into the nature of thought, the mechanism of a separate self appears to be necessary to bring some semblance of order and stability to the chaos of thought. In other words, the brain stores experience, and a program called ‘me’ makes sense of all the information.

Another possibility is that as humans evolved conscious thought, the survival mechanism became deeply linked to concepts of identity. Instead of realizing that ‘I am my thoughts,’ and ‘thought is not actuality,’ there was the subconscious and emotionally held idea that ‘I am not my thoughts, but a separate and permanent entity.’

From this psychological basis, the idea of permanence, and the fear of death, are inevitable. Separate selfhood, survival, attachment, permanence, and fear of death got mixed up together, and formed the psychological basis of humanness.

But thought-dominated consciousness has become utterly dysfunctional, both individually and collectively. Authentic meditation ushers in another type of consciousness altogether.

To awaken meditation, one has to begin with division in observation. That is, with negating the illusory observer or watcher. If one doesn’t think in terms of ‘my mind’ (which reinforces division in observation) one begins to observe the movement of thought as it is —as a single movement of nearly nonstop associations.

Thought is a single stream, which habitually tends to separate itself from nature, the world, and itself. Sitting quietly and still, ask oneself, ‘is the observer operating?’ In doing so, in passively watching the mind divide itself from itself, one brings attention to the infinite regression of psychological separation, and it ceases. When the habit and sense of separateness ends, thought naturally falls silent. That is meditation.

It’s near dusk, and the parkland is teeming with Cooper’s hawks. A large, brown, stipple-winged hawk takes off from the path ahead of me with some small animal in its mouth.

Another, perched on a branch overhanging the park road, drops from the limb and screeches incessantly as it glides in a straight, level flight path down the road. A few minutes later, a couple walking ahead of me stop and turn around to watch a raptor alight high in a sycamore tree.

For the last 20 minutes of a sitting by the stream, a gray squirrel chatters away in a tree behind me. It occurs to me that consciousness is like that squirrel prattling on, impervious to awareness.

As if to confirm that insight, a hundred meters up the path I pass two college-age couples talking non-stop as they imbibe at a picnic site adjacent to the footbridge. In the time it takes me to go by, one of the young women changes subjects about shopping three times, without appearing to take a breath.

Then, to complete the comic play of the chattering squirrel and girl, four small boys on bikes go by, two of them still in training wheels. They shout and make meaningless verbal noises without pause, and seemingly without point, the way little boys do. Their non-stop sound effects serve a purpose however. To their minds, any silence breaks the bond between them.

Being creatures of thought, we fear any break in thought, because thought provides the basis and bonds of our lives. It’s not only a baseless fear however; it’s an increasingly catastrophic one. Is transformation is in the air?


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Don Franks: Thwarting National's Tea-Break Busting Bill

National's tea break busting bill will pass through parliament this week. What will this mean? The Government's Employment Relations Amendment Bill makes several changes, including removal of guaranteed tea breaks and meal breaks. More>>

Jim Miles: Canada’s Heart Of Darkness

Once upon a time, Canada was able to create the illusion that it was the “peaceable kingdom”, an illusion accepted domestically and arguably by most of the rest of the world. This history has been well discredited with newer historical research outlining how Canada’s position as a “peacekeeper,” generally under UN auspices, remained effectively within the realm of U.S. foreign policy... More>>

ALSO:

Michael Collins: Jet Fighter Shoot Down Of MH 17 Still On Table

A senior prosecutor investigating the MH17 shoot down for the Dutch Prosecutors office, Fred Westerbeke, offered up as many questions as he did answers in an interview with SpiegelOnline yesterday. More>>

Jonathan Cook: How Israel Is Turning Gaza Into A Super-Max Prison

It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as Dahiya, has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Dysfunctional Hagiography: Australia & Gough Whitlam's Death

Hagiography is the curse of the Australian Labor movement. It is a movement that searches for, and craves, mythical figures and myths. Such a phenomenon might be termed mummification, and detracts from closer examination. More>>

David Swanson: On Killing Trayvons

This Wednesday is a day of action that some are calling a national day of action against police brutality, with others adding 'and mass incarceration,' and I'd like to add 'and war' and make it global rather than national. More>>

Uri Avnery: Israel Ignoring “Tectonic Change” In Public Opinion

If the British parliament had adopted a resolution in favour of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the reaction of our media would have been like this: More>>

ALSO:

| UK MPs blow a “raspberry” at Netanyahu and his serfs

Byron Clark: Fiji Election: Crooks In Suits

On September 17 Fiji held its first election since Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup. With his Fiji First party receiving 59.2% of the vote, Bainimarama will remain in power. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news